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Stiff suspension

Question : I own a 1987 Mercedes 190E. A month ago, I changed all the bushes plus the four shock absorbers and its mountings which cost me a little more than RM4,000. The shock absorbers are Bilstein 361389.

I am unhappy as the ride is bumpy and get a thud noise when going over depressions or potholes. My feeling is that the shock absorbers may be of the hard type or the spring coils are "dead". The mechanic said that he has used the standard shock absorber for the car and it might be that the coils also need changing. What is your opinion?

Answer : You did not mention what shock absorbers were fitted to the front but I will assume that they are also Bilstein. The number that you have given, 36-1389 is for the rear shock absorbers and is actually a heavy duty unit and that may be the reason why you feel that the ride is bumpy. I think you should be using the "Comfort" specification which is:

Front: F4-V36-0199-HO

Rear: F4-B36-1405-HO

I do not think the standard shocks are heavy duty units and there is no need to replace the springs. I think the real problem is that the shocks are too hard.

 
   
 

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